It is Saturday night and I am watching a show on the Style network called “World’s Most Expensive” which shows the most expensive items in the world and brags about the people who find the resources to consume these items or services. In this upcoming week’s readings, Kawamura explains the history of consumption, modern day consumption at least, starting with one of the main consumption influences, Louis XIV of France around the late 1600’s. During this time period, the king dictated what was fashionable, luxurious, and high class. Public consumption habits do not seem to have changed much in the last four hundred years, in that there are people with unlimited resources who are often fashion icons to some extent and then there is the rest of the population who try to imitate their consumption habits. Kawamura explains how “production influences consumption, and consumption influences production” (89). In much simpler times in history, this could be seen much easier since nowadays everything under the sun is produced for us and during this compact challenge, the challenge is to resist the consumption of the billions of products put before us in what seems like every second of every day. By watching this show and others like it, it becomes easier to judge what is too much for each individual. Also check out this fast fashion video to see how fast consuming can occur and the consequences on people's attitudes. For example, look at the price tags on many of the items and then imagine the money you could be spending on this item and what you could do with this amount of money, if you had it, instead. One infamous purse, much cheaper than the picture above, is about $45,000. This amount of money is equal to about three years of college expenses at UC Davis, encompassing about everything you would need. Fashion-clothing (Kawamura) can go in and out of style within moments, whereas an education can last you a lifetime and open many more doors. Thus my lesson for this week is to reevaluate the money I can spend on one thing and envision a larger goal in my life for which I should save money and redirect my thoughts and resources towards.
Kawamura, Yuniya. Fashion-ology An Introduction to Fashion Studies (Dress, Body, Culture). New York: Berg, 2005.
Fast Fashion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygjmRLEfb4k
Most Expensive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVs90O2hzVM